A proof of concept (PoC) attack was announced today dubbed “SmashEx”. This attack targets a recently disclosed vulnerability, CVE-2021-0186, and can corrupt and break integrity of private data in Intel Software Guard Extension (SGX) processors. The vulnerability was discovered by a collaboration of researchers from ETH Zurich, the National University of Singapore, and the China National University of Defense Technology in May 2021. CVE-2021-0186 can be used to access sensitive information by bypassing isolation within Intel SGX chips that maintain a secure enclave, dubbed a Trusted Execution Environment (TEE). The TEE is intended to block access to confidential information, even by system level processes. CVE-2021-0186 allows for attackers to take advantage of Outside Calls, which allow enclave functions to call out to the untrusted application and then return to the enclave, to inject asynchronous exceptions into control flow in order to access sensitive data or execute arbitrary code.
Written by: Nataliia Zdrok, Threat Intelligence Analyst at Binary Defense Russia’s invasion of Ukraine increased